MEGAYACHT | RIVA 90′ ARGO
By Bianca Ascenti | Ph. by Ferretti Group
Riva 90′ Argo: striking expanses of glass and a wonderful variety of sophisticated finishes and sublime joinery. A brilliant encapsulation of the Riva philosophy thanks to Officina Italiana Design’s skilful marriage of forms and volumes, liveability and elegance, tradition and the contemporary.
In both her name and styling, the new Riva 90′ Argo is an homage to ancient Greece and the harmony of classic beauty. Riva is aiming high with a flybridge that remains faithful to the historic brand’s signature styling cues yet tackles the “new” with confidence, very much as Jason and his Argonauts did in their quest for the Golden Fleece.
While respecting a timeless aesthetic that blithely ignores the quirks of fashion, the 90’ Argo incorporates modern design features that build on the strengths of her illustrious predecessors, the Riva 100’ Corsaro and the Riva 110’ Dolcevita. Stretching 28.49 metres in length, the yacht, which was designed by Officina Italiana Design and the Ferretti Group’s Strategic Product Committee, bursts onto the scene clothed in ultra-sleek, forward-reaching lines that lend the hull a wonderful sense of movement and slim down its 6.5-metre wide body. The 90’ Argo brilliantly fulfils her role as a connecting model between Riva’s superyachts and its smaller craft. Her dimensions are absolutely flawless – just the thing to deliver classy, convivial cruising with plenty of contact with the sea.
Expansive social areas both inside and out are worthy of a much larger yacht, while impressive hull windows and full-height ones on the main deck guarantee light. We also love the aerodynamic glass structures aft. The eclectic aft cockpit offers over 30 sqm of space and can convert from a chill-out area to a sunning one or an al fresco dining zone. It is also the perfect place for simply enjoying the sea views while at anchor. A staircase set into the superstructure, and thus invisible from the side, leads up to the very generous 46 sqm fly which boasts lovely freestanding furnishings by Roda and Paola Lenti, a wet bar with stools, and a dining area with an L-shaped sofa and Corian-topped table. Foremost is the hideaway bridge with first mate seat. The glass skylight in the hard top draws in lots of light too. The main deck was designed to deliver the same sense of freedom and cool, fresh airiness to guests when they are inside. The focus is on full-height windows that flood the spacious near-40 sqm saloon with light and sea views. Aside from a conversation area comprising Rivera armchairs by Frag, a coffee table by Acerbis and an L-shaped Anderson sofa by Minotti and a TV hidden behind a steel and mirrored surface, there is also a dining area for eight (the table is by Acerbis with black leather chairs by Cassina).
Guests can also enjoy themselves on two panoramic terraces on either side. Turn to port off the central lobby and you will find yourself in the galley and then the crew areas (on the lower deck). The raised steering position is to starboard and features an integrated LOOP bridge with 16’ or 19’ touchscreen displays. Further on is the full-beam 30 sqm master suite complete with walk-in closet, large bathroom and central skylight. The lower deck is home to three double VIP cabins, all en suite, with ceiling heights of over 2m, plus a fourth full-beam cabin aft – its walk-in closet and large bathroom are strategically located behind the bed to ensure no sound travels from the technical areas.
The Argo’s styling effortlessly mirrors Riva philosophy, which has always focused on creating a sense of pure elegance through the use of luxe materials, subtle colour schemes, and instantly recognisable design. The main wood used throughout is Italian walnut, which acts as a nice counterpoint to the dark tones of the ceilings and the leather upholstery of the furnishings as well as the light hues of the parquet, fabrics, sofas and cushions. The mirrored steel structural columns are very striking too as they reflect the interiors. The Argo is also awash with wonderfully sophisticated details – bed headrests and side tables in white leather alternating with TV units and writing/ vanity tables in black leather in the master suite, for instance. Highprofile designer brands that have supplied décor accessories include Casamance, Penelopeoggi, RevéHome and Gentili&Mosconi, while the bathrooms all feature a luxury “Australe” Calacatta marble. Always at the cutting edge when it comes to technology, the Riva 90’ Argo offers Twin Disc’s next-generation E-Steer power steering system with Dual Bus and Speed Sensing for superb dynamic control. A choice of three engine set-ups is available and yields cruising speeds of between 22 and 26 knots. One feature that is normally impossible to find on yachts of this size is a garage large enough to stow both a Williams Sportjet 395 tender and a wet bike (all of which can be launched independently). Last but very far from least, the Riva 90’ Argo has a six sqm beach club complete with an innovative hideaway swim ladder to make getting back aboard a breeze. The Argo may not garner the Golden Fleece but she has certainly conquered the market and won the hearts of owners who see the Riva brand as the home of excellence.
Yacht Design | Mauro Micheli, Chief Designer at Officina Italiana Design
When I am asked what detail that will pick out a Riva froma distance, I always say I don’t know. But what I do know is that no one could ever confuse a Riva yacht with anyone else’s. Because regardless of the models we design, all the boats embody the core values of both our studio and the historic brand: elegance, symmetry, harmony of form, good taste. And balance. The Riva 90’ Argo is no exception. Quite the opposite, in fact, as balance is one of her main characteristics and the one we’re most proud of. This is because creating a wide-body flybridge on a 90’ is no easy task: when the dimensions are compact and the spaces big, you run the risk of ending up with a yacht that looks clumsy and graceless. But aboard the Argo, we achieved slender, streamlined forms by meticulously planning and calibrating her volumes. Plus the spaces are worthy of a larger yacht. On the sides, for instance, we have 1.75 metres because the forward walkway is slightly lower. But that solution doesn’t interfere in the least with the master suite because it only involves the area more to the side where the windows are (these are very big, so as to brighten the cabin).The choice of glass for the stern cockpit works very well too because, combined with the low topsides, it guarantees unbroken visual contact with the sea. The hard top with its asymmetrical skylight also works well as it brightens the big fly and allowed us to play with the design a bit.
Generally speaking, we managed to find an excellent compromise between space and style aboard the 90’ Argo. The market is demanding bigger volumes all the time but you don’t necessarily have to bend to its rules. When certain types of demand become excessive and start forcing the issue and compromising the end result, we go against the grain. We will never swap elegance for a few extra metres. In terms of sources of inspiration, I would say contemporary art: if a painting works, it means it is well balanced, just like our boats. I don’t find the design world stimulating at all…The Riva name conjures up images of small boats, a bit like Hermes makes you think of the Kelly bag. But both brands do so many other things besides…Designing big yachts that follow Riva tradition is a responsibility and also hugely stimulating. We do things we like and that work, without ever thinking about the end user. Seeing the market following our lead and copying us is a great testament to our work.
Interior Design | Officina Italiana Design
Unlike other interior designs that have to fill up spaces designed by other people, in our case, there is an ongoing dialogue between interior and exterior right from the drawing board stage. This means we can produce functional, balanced boats in which every single centimetre is used 100 per cent, with a perfect balance struck between cleanness, symmetry and elegance. Normally, we come up with two décor proposals, one standard and the other optional. Then, on the basis of market analysis and timescales, we chose which one to adopt on the first example. Other than respecting the yard’s brief and complying with certain technical requirements, we have complete freedom and independently choose the layout, materials, furnishings, window heights, etc.
On the 90’ Argo, the challenge was to create the required spaces and volumes without forcing the style and I think that result is genuinely excellent. Generally speaking, we always produce products that reflect the Riva market and that means recognisable boats (no excessively high bulwarks, for instance, to guarantee views of the water). With the Riva 90’ Argo, we also adopted some very interesting and innovative engineering and technological solutions. Take the aft cockpit, for example. Aside from the glass that guarantees visual contact with the sea, there are also two transverse sofas that can be moved closer or further away from the central table, turning the relaxation area into a dining one in a few seconds flat. In the master suite on the main deck, on the other hand, we put in four steps that lead down to the sunken bathroom, which is exceptionally large and comfortable (the standard version is in Cameo White Corian while the optional features Silk Georgette Marble). We chose Italian walnut as the main wood because it is a pale, maritime wood that suits yachting very well. To balance it out, we combined it with steel and dark metallic-effect ceilings. We wanted a non-aggressive look and an ambience that wasn’t excessively pale to ensure that natural daylight brightened the spaces. Speaking of lights, the Zetacube 40 x 40 square spots are dark or in the same colour as the ceiling so that they disappear into it when they are off. We are incredibly meticulous and check every single centimetre both at the design stage and the final fit-out. We always check that any plant work won’t interfere with the result we are looking for. Each new Riva yacht is a new challenge and a new milestone.
The Shipyard | Stefano de Vivo, Ferretti Group Chief Commercial Officer and Wally Managing Director
The Officina Italiana Design team’s sensitivity and extraordinary vision means they can interpret Riva right into the future and also that each new boat is a milestone in the brand’s history. The 90’ Argo is no exception to that rule. Yet again Micheli has excelled himself and designed what I can only call a wow-yacht. Absolutely successful and a brilliant ambassador for the brand’s philosophy. In recent years, we have brought Riva back to the flybridge segment, in which it was one of the leaders and pioneers. We did so with 100’ and 110’ yachts that enjoyed enormous success and from there we made the leap to the 90’ because our clients were asking for a boat of that size with the standard of excellence that only this brand can guarantee. As ever, we gave OID a very detailed brief regarding some of the technical characteristics of the craft, such as the number of cabins and bathrooms, speeds and engine set-ups, type and dimensions of toys, etc. Then we just left it up to them to put flesh on the bones of those requirements quite confident that the result would be spectacular. And it has to be said that the Riva 90’ Argo leaves everyone that comes aboard open-mouthed with admiration because of the richness of the materials used, the engineering solutions, meticulous detailing and finishes, and the extraordinary design of her volumes: everything from the stern with its rotating sofas to the bow which is now an integrated part of the sun deck, and the perfect symmetry of the walkways is the fruit of a studio that is unparalleled on the nautical scene. You get the same wow effect again in the four splendid cabins (two of which are masters) and the panoramic saloon which has 270° sea views, thanks to enormous windows and no visual impediments. This wasn’t an easy design because windows of this size can end up looking invasive but somehow OID managed to harmonise the superstructure and hull to produce a sleek, elegant yacht. Very much in line with Riva philosophy and what our owners demand, the wow factor is everywhere aboard plus you can actually see the richness first-hand. All you have to do is look at the impressive quantity of glass, steel and leather aboard and luxury finishes, hard woods, beautifully crafted joinery… Of course, Riva has dedicated yards and specialist artisans who have “absorbed” their skills and the dedication required to produce iconic boats from previous generations of shipwrights. For example, we apply between 19 and 22 coats of copal varnish to our mahogany – that gives you an idea why building a Riva takes so many more man hours than any other yacht. But our owners have no complaints: anyone who commissions a Riva is looking for “nobility on the sea” and is ready to wait that bit longer and spend that bit more to have a unique yacht that will make them stand out. The Riva “stamp” means we have to build each boat to a very high standard of quality and this reminds us that we have the responsibility and the honour of flying the flag for an iconic brand of which only excellence is expected.